Football fans will get to see an offensive explosion of biblical proportions when the Green Bay Packers travel to Detroit to take on the Lions this Sunday — so what better way to describe this occasion than with an excerpt from a well-known psalm.  I’m Jewish (and a mostly non-practicing one for that matter), and even I know this phrase very well.  Of course, we have Quentin Tarantino to thank for that (Note: Although Samuel L. Jackson mentions “Ezekiel 25:17″ in his immortal quote, he in fact uses lines from Psalm 23 as well).

Throughout time, there have been many interpretations of that verse, but when relating it to this week’s slate of NFL games, it can only mean one thing: start Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford with confidence.  Not only will those QBs give you some relative “comfort”, but so should their receivers.  As of now, I have Stafford No. 1 in my QB rankings, with Rodgers right behind him.  Calvin Johnson is my No. 1 WR (Julio Jones‘ TNF performance not included), which he’ll likely be in most matchups, and after a huge 206-yard performance vs. the Jets, Jordy Nelson checks in as this week’s No. 3 receiver.  The Packers’ “other” wideout, Randall Cobb, is also in my top 10, and in his third game with his new team, former Seahawk Golden Tate makes his way into the top 30.

Start all these players with the utmost confidence and take a look below for some more start/sits before you set your lineups prior to kickoff…

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To be honest, I’m not really sure what to do with myself right now. As I’m writing today’s recap (which will be yesterday’s recap when you read this), I find myself essentially writing my first ever obituary. It’s certainly not a fun feeling writing about gruesome, year-threatening, maybe even career-threatening injuries, but seeing as this all came on a day where we saw the Cleveland Browns finally have an opportunity to understand what this “happiness” emotion is that they’ve heard so much about, but have never experienced, and that the Bills are officially on pace to go 16-0, we can try to find some sort of silver lining here. Or just realize that the world is about to come to an end. Also, LOL Jets.

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Projections are like opinions, and you know what Dirty Harry said about opinions.

“Well, opinions are like as*holes. Everybody has one.” -Harry Callahan (Dead Pool, 1988).

Projections are “informed” guesses, often by someone who thinks they know more than the next. Hopeful approximations. A false promise almost guaranteed to disappoint. Projections are generally misleading and biased, and we can hardly rely upon them. If projections were accurate they wouldn’t be projections, they’d be stats. And if projections were consistently correct, fantasy sports would be an incredibly boring pastime. In a fantasy world filled with projections, many of us are starved for facts. But to where should we turn? The stats. Why? Because stats do not lie. In fantasy football they paint a near exact picture of what has occurred and how each player has, or has not, produced.

One famous, and dead, author might disagree. A long time ago Mark Twain said “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” I call bullsh*t Mr. Twain. Me and everybody reading this article knows that if you were alive today, you’d not only be in at least four fantasy football leagues, but you’d be reading Razzball in hopes of uncovering that small bit of advice or oddball statistic that helped you win the coming week’s matchups and bring you one step closer to a fantasy championship.

Okay, enough banter. Let’s get to why we are here. How can we leverage the stats to help pinpoint players that are at the top of their game, or perhaps on their way there.

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The first week of the NFL season reminded us of how volatile this league can be. We saw rookie Allen Hurns of the Jacksonville Jaguars score touchdowns on his first two receptions. Then we saw the Jaguars blow a 17-0 lead and lose 34-17 to Philadelphia. Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens went from being suspended for a few more days, to being suspended indefinitely by the league in a 48-hour span shaking things up. Injuries played a big part as well, with tight ends Jordan Cameron and Jordan Reed suffering injuries and sending rosters into flux. He can be dropped in redraft leagues but hang on to him in dynasty leagues. Thankfully, we’ll help you make sense of it all on the waiver wire this week. We’ll break it down by position and ownership on ESPN, NFL and Yahoo Leagues to help you out.

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An artist’s depiction of yesterday’s Cowboys game.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the first every Sunday of football should always have the Dallas Cowboys doing whatever that was they did yesterday afternoon. In fact, let’s start a petition to have them on Monday AND Thursday night as well. I mean, can we even say that the Cowboys actually did anything in training camp? This looks like the exact same team from last year, and I’ve already started decorating my house for the holidays seeing as how the Cowboys are already in mid-December form. True, as the sharp and always entertaining (in gouging your own eyes out sort of way) commentating duo of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman informed us, if not for all the turnovers, this would have been a close game. I’ve never seen something so beautifully and succinctly useless at the same time. If it weren’t for the Normandy landing and the eastern invasion of Russia, Germany had a pretty good World War II. And while the game was technically close without including large portions of events that happened during the game, I was left with this one burning question– What is it called when you throw to a receiver that had 12 people covering him?

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Hey, any of you guys see where my offensive line went?

Hey guys, I get it, risk is scary. Most people go their entire lives doing whatever they can to avoid risk. No matter what it is, people avoid risk like I avoid poison ivy and country music. Well consider me to be the fantasy version of the tacky motivational poster on your boss’s wall. Throughout my years as a fantasy football player, I’ve come to know a few things to be true. Never draft a Mike Shanahan coached running back, never draft a QB in the first round, and those who take risks, win. Some of the best picks I’ve made have been some of my riskiest over the years. For example, Randy Moss in 2007 was going rounds after other top receivers after a futile stay in Oakland and a Training camp of DNP’s. What ensued was pure fantasy magic as the combo of Moss and Brady carried several of my teams to Payout City. Think of all the players that avoided Peyton Manning last year coming off of neck surgery. Now think of all the laughs the owners had who took the risk on Manning, as they cashed the more conservative owners checks.

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The tale of St. Louis Rams’ running back Isaiah Pead may end up being a short one.

Pead was taken by the Rams with the 50th overall pick of the 2012 Draft, eights spots ahead of stud linebacker Lavonte David and ten picks ahead of corner Casey Hayward.  There would’ve been no reason to doubt the Rams selection at the time, after all, the University of Cincinnati product was an electrifying running back in college and performed very well in the pre-draft combines.  The 5’10”, 200-pounder finished fourth among all RBs in the cone drill (6.95) and had the fifth-best 40 time at the position (4.47).  Pead went into camp that year looking to compete, but quickly fell behind Steven Jackson and Daryl Richardson on the depth charts, finishing with just 10 carries for 54 yards during his rookie season.

2013 was supposed to be his breakout.  Fantasy football owners pegged him as a guy who could be taken later in drafts, yet had fantasy starter capability.  With Jackson signing in Atlanta, Richardson was the starter on paper, but he could easily be overtaken.  Pead’s sleeper status grew exponentially during the off-season, until a suspension for substance abuse derailed that somewhat.  He was forced to miss the Rams’ season opener and never regained any of his momentum from training camp.  Coach Jeff Fisher saddled Richardson with the bulk of the ball-carrying duties for the first couple weeks of the season, limiting Pead’s upside.  Pead received only one carry in Week 2, turning that into just one yard.  He had two catches for 18 yards as well, but he was clearly behind the eight ball.  During Week 3 vs. Dallas, Pead rushed for 20 yards and caught seven balls for 43 yards — a pretty productive game.  Things were looking up for the second-year back — or were they?

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There are two C’s in my last name buddy.

The first question you should ask yourself while you’re doing your best Taxi Driver impersonation in the mirror is– really, are Jay’s rankings crazy? Or am I just crazy? (Check them out… Razzball Football rankings). The ole’ smoke dog is here to just squeeze water out of a stone, take the dog down the block… or whatever the appropriate wit of wisdom is. So I will first look today at quarterback and will be using the half-PPR scoring formats in the RCL’s as the backbone for discussion. The class is as deep as the minds of Minolta. The good ole theory of waiting, or sorta waiting, comes into play.  The top-12 QB’s from a year ago had a range of  154.8 points between them, no thanks in large part to the ridiculous all-time season of Peyton Manning. With that, I’m going to focus on how Josh McCown could be a fantasy forgotten in TB.  The same Josh McCown who basically scored 25 pts less than Jay Cutler did all year, but only in 5 1/2 games.  Stay after the bump we get deeper and deeper into the proof or lack of it.

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Yes, it happened. And even though these games don’t mean anything, this epic showdown was hyped as “Harbowl 3″, letting us know that the terrorists, in fact, have won. But if there’s anything the NFL is good at, it’s hype. And also having zero self-awareness. That also tops the list. So the hype-train arrived with much fanfare last night, which is why we got to watch Denver fans boo the sh*t out of the team that destroyed them in the Super Bowl. But for fantasy, is there anything to be gleaned here in the first set of preseason games? What is gleaning, is the question here. GLEAN ME, right? Oh yes, I shall glean you. So the answer? Probably not much. And if you watch Patriot preseason games, nothing. For example, I could say that Jay Gruden’s usage of Roy Helu against the Patriots was notable, especially for PPR formats (something I actually believe). But is that usage a function of the games not counting? And what do we make of long-sustaining drives, like the first drive the Ravens had? Does it tell us their offensive line looks better and they have a more cohesive unit overall, or is it just rust and the first time these players are live-tackling? There are just way too many unknowns here, and so really the only thing that you should monitor are injuries and Brandon Weeden sightings. Just kidding on that last one. You should actually monitor your alcohol intake. Or maybe that’s just me.

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Two much eliteness going on here. (See what I did?)

Welcome to another strategy session. While probably not as good as a pizza session, we’re gonna get darn close, because today, of all days, we are going to go over two-quarterback leagues. Because having Tony Romo lead your team to playoff aspirations until November rolls around and he removes the clutch from your car is not enough. Nope. We need to add the potential to both have Tony Romo and Eli Manning on the same fantasy team, which I heard is the 18th sign of the end of the world. Obama was the 16th and 17th sign on the list, if you were wondering. Yes, that’s right, two-quarterback leagues are really-really different, I can’t stress that enough. Which is why you got two really’s. Everything you know about standard and PPR formats gets thrown out the window, as you’ll see the aforementioned Tony Romo be drafted ahead of Dez Bryant in most leagues. That’s a cup of crazy, as they would say. Actually, they wouldn’t say that… I don’t think anyone has ever said that. So let’s get you primed for what is going to be the weirdest draft you’ve ever been a part of. Unless it was a salamanders in your shoes draft. That would probably top this one.

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